Saturday 1st September 2018
Travelbag Surrey Championship – Division 3
Old Rutlishians 220 for 6 (50 overs)
Stoke D’Abernon 214 all out (48.5 overs)
Old Rutlishians won by 6 runs
The previous week’s results meant this wasn’t the expected title decider, but Stoke and Old Ruts showed why they were the best two sides in the division by serving up a tremendous match to end the League season where all results were possible going into the final few deliveries.
Ruts won the toss and chose to bat first on a pitch that played better than it looked. Will Frost and Robbie Blackburn kept things tight early and the pressure brought the first wicket when Bryan slapped a delivery from Frost to Ian Hopton at mid-off. 15 for 1.
Pemberton, (53), and Riches, (58), got themselves in and put together a partnership of 76 for the 2nd wicket, broken by Hopton who found the edge of the former’s bat and James Whitmarsh did the rest behind the stumps.
Riches and Sharples moved the total to 148 for 2; but they were unable to up the rate as much as they would like as all the change bowlers did well. Hopes of a big total were scuppered when Frost, (10-2-30-2), returned to the attack to dismiss Riches; then Hopton, (10-0-42-3), castled Sharples for 39 and picked up Trimmings for 4 courtesy of a good catch in the deep by Alastair Curran to make it 176 for 5.
Good bowling and intelligent field placements restricted the boundaries and Patel, (21 not out with just one four), Jones, (12), and Mude, (17 not out), could only get the total up to 220 for 6; Jones’s wicket late in the piece fell to Shawn Dyson who would end the season as joint leading wicket-taker in the division.
After tea Max Subba Row and James Trower gave Stoke a nice start by adding 31 for the first wicket. Subba Row looked in good touch before getting a life, but no reprieve in the next over when he was leg-before for 16. A ring-rusty Will Gudgeon steered the fourth ball he faced to slip; then Trower was bowled and Stoke suddenly found themselves 38 for 3.
Dyson and Curran re-built things with a fourth wicket stand of 33; Curran scored 15 of them before edging to the keeper standing up. Curran was one of a succession of batsmen to fall in the teens as Dyson looked on from the other end, but Stoke were very much in this if someone could stay with him.
James Corbishley, (14), and Hopton, (12), both perished when well set; and when Dyson, (65 from 76), steered one into the keeper’s gloves trying to run one through the vacant third man area it was advantage Ruts with the total on 144 for 7.
Whitmarsh and late call up Roddy Kelso added another 36 runs to take the game as deep as possible. Kelso struck the ball cleanly and pair ran well; but just as they looked to be putting Stoke back in control, Whitmarsh was bowled by sixth bowler O.Patel, (10-0-40-4), then Blackburn was leg before moments later.
Kelso now only had Frost left for company but the latter could easily command a position higher in the order if Stoke didn’t have so much strength in depth. The batsmen ticked off the runs, (30 needed when they came together), as the home side started to show signs of nerves having had few games this year where an opposition has continued to keep coming at them.
A good 48th over by the returning Sharples left fifteen needed off the last two overs; but more good running and a helping of four byes in the next added to the drama. With seven needed from the last eight deliveries this match was anyone’s, but Trimmings kept his cool and bowled Frost as he target a gap on the leg-side boundary. Stoke fell agonisingly short by 6 runs. Kelso finished unbeaten on 38 from 40 balls faced.
Credit to both sides for putting so much into a game that could so easily have been played as a dead rubber. Both should look forward to seeing each other again next season.